A 34-year-old suspected kidnapper, Sampson Ebiowei, from Ofunama, Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, has been caught with an AK-47 rifle along with 88 rounds of ammunition, which the suspect said he bought from a soldier serving in Maidugiru, Borno State, for N300,000.
Parading Ebiowei and other suspects on Friday at the Edo State Police Command in Benin City, the new Police Commissioner, Philip Ogbadu, said the Command has made some modest achievements from January 13 to February 4 that he presided over as police boss.
Narrating his alleged involvement in kidnapping, Ebiowei, who has three wives and four children, said he was originally captured in the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme for repentant Niger-Delta militants, but was stopped after three months because he refused to give kickback to his uncle who had helped him.
And, in anger he contacted a soldier friend serving in Maiduguri who sold the gun to him at the cost of N300, 000 along with 88 rounds of ammunition.
“I was captured in the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme before, and was being paid N65,000 per month, but my uncle who helped me to get the job said he wants to be collecting N20,000 from the money.
“However, because I said no, he removed my name from the programme.
“I had bought the gun to fight the oil companies in our place, because they have refused to give us jobs,” he said.
Highlighting his achievements since arriving Benin, Ogbadu said the Command has arrested 26 suspected cultists; 17 armed robbers; 11 kidnap suspects and six murder suspects.
Other arrests made include five persons for assault and one person for rape.
He said the Command also recovered 119 rounds of live ammunition and eight vehicles among other things.
According to Ogbadu, the command will collaborate with local hunters, vigilante groups, and sister agencies to bring down the rate of crime in the state.
“We will deploy anticrime patrols and operations around identified black spots in the state and engage in bush combing
“Among other things, our town Hall Stakeholders’ Meetings have commenced and will be regularly held to review the security situations.
“Engagement of Community members in accordance with Community Policing Philosophy of the IGP, intelligence-led policing will be encouraged. The Command has started and will continue to work towards boosting the morale of its personnel, improve their performance and building Public confidence towards the Police with a view to getting credible information that will aid policing.
“The Command has visited all security agencies in a bid to strengthen synergy among security agencies so as to foster inter agency collaboration. The concept of Community Policing as adopted by the Inspector General of Police is being injected in policing the state. Strategic stake holders will be carried along to play security advisory roles.
“Support of the people is critical for effective policing of its community. To bridge the gap created by shortage of manpower, the command is liaising with vigilante groups in policing the state,” said the Police Commissioner.